- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres arrives in Ukraine following talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
- Russia’s RIA news agency says several rockets have hit the occupied city of Kherson in southern Ukraine, causing a series of blasts.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy praises people who took part in a pro-Ukraine protest in Kherson.
- Russia appointed officials in the Kherson region says the area will start transitioning to the rouble from May 1.
- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announces Washington will begin the process of reopening its embassy in Kyiv “as quickly but also as safely as possible”.
Here are all the latest updates:
US energy industries on ‘war footing’: Official
US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm has said that Russia’s war on Ukraine “screams” that the world needs to stop importing oil and gas from Russia and instead move toward other forms of energy.
At an international forum on offshore wind energy in Atlantic City, Granholm said the US as well as its energy industries “are on a war footing,” and called for a rapid acceleration of renewable energy including offshore wind power.
“Russia is waging a war in Ukraine and the imperative to move away from Russian oil and gas, for the world to move away from Russian oil and gas screams that there is an imperative that we electrify,” said Granholm, the former Michigan governor.
“Offshore wind is just a huge component in that.”
Timeline: Week nine of Russia’s war in Ukraine
Russian forces intensified attacks in southeastern Ukraine during the ninth week of their invasion as several hundred Ukrainian troops continued to hold out in Mariupol.
Here’s a recap of the key events of the past week.
Will Russia succeed in seizing southwestern Ukraine?
After failing to capture the capital Kyiv and northern Ukraine, Russian forces are now focusing on completing their conquest of the south.
They have claimed complete control of the region of Kherson, but their offensives in Mykolaiv and Odesa have been far less successful.
Read more here.
Kherson blasts knock Russian channels off air
Ukrainian and Russian media say explosions near a television tower in Kherson city temporarily knocked Russian channels off the air.
Ukrayinska Pravda, an online newspaper, said the strikes set off a fire and caused Russian television channels to go off air.
RIA Novosti said the broadcast later resumed. It said Russian channels began broadcasting from Kherson last week.
Ukrainian forces prevented six Russian attacks in Luhansk, Donetsk: Military
Ukraine’s military says its forces prevented six Russian attacks in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions on Wednesday.
It also said Ukrainian forces destroyed five tanks, one artillery system, 21 armoured vehicles, one armoured combat vehicle, one car and one anti-aircraft installation.
ICC prosecutor says ‘it’s time for action’ in Ukraine
The chief prosecutor of International Criminal Court has called for action and accountability on Ukraine.
“This is not really a time for talking. It’s a time for action. International law cannot be a passive spectator,” Karim Asad Ahmed told reporters after a meeting of the UN Security Council. “It needs to move with alacrity to protect and to insist on accountability.”
Khan said he was neither in favour nor against Russia or Ukraine.
“We are in favour of the law, which is in favour of humanity, which is to protect humanity,” he said.
“We should feel ashamed that in 2022 we continue, in so many parts of the world, to see violence that may constitute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes,” he added
Kherson to transition to rouble on May 1: Report
The southern Ukrainian region of Kherson will start transitioning to Russia’s currency from May 1, the RIA news agency has reported, citing the deputy chairman of the region’s military-civilian administration.
According to the official, the transition period will take up to four months, during which time both the Russian rouble and the Ukrainian hryvnia will circulate.
Russia claims it has taken control of the entire Kherson region and, according to RIA, has launched Russian television and radio broadcasting there. The report also said the local population has begun “to use Russian roubles more widely in settlements”.
Biden to speak on support for Ukraine
US President Joe Biden will deliver remarks on Thursday morning “on support for Ukrainians defending their country and their freedom against Russia’s brutal war,” the White House has said.
Ukrainian forces fired a Tochka-U missile at Kherson: Russian media
Russia’s RIA news agency says Ukrainian forces in the Mykolaoiv region used the Tochka-U ballistic missile in an attack targeting Kherson’s city centre.
Rights groups say the weapon is extremely inaccurate and must not be used in war.
A RIA journalist who witnessed the attack said: “First, there was an explosion from the Hurricane [rocket launcher system], they are usually launched before the Tochka-U to confuse the air defence. There was one explosion (from the Hurricane), then there was firing (air defence systems) … then I saw a flash in the sky, it was clear that it was flying from the side of the Nikolaev [Mykolaiv] region, from the north-west.”
He added that several large explosions followed and that he saw fragments of the Tochka-U on the ground.
The Tochka-U rocket was used in an attack on the Kramatorsk railway station on April 8. At least 57 people died.
UK’s Truss calls Russia ‘a desperate rogue operator’
British Foreign Minister Liz Truss has described Russia as a “desperate rogue operator with no interest in international norms” as she called for more heavy weapons to be sent to Ukraine.
Delivering her annual foreign policy speech at Mansion House, the residence of London’s mayor, Truss said Russia was less rational than the Soviet Union. Although the Soviet Union inflicted “many evils” and regularly used their veto in the Security Council, “even they behaved with some kind of rationality on the world stage”, she said.
“They were able to stick to deals when they saw risks to strategic stability, as they did with the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty,” she said.
Economic structures developed after World War II and the Cold War have “enabled rather than contained aggression”, she added, accusing Russia of violating several arms control treaties.
Germany was biggest buyer of Russia’s energy in first two months of Ukraine war: Study
Germany bought the most amount of Russian energy during the first two months of the Ukraine war, according to an independent research group.
The Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air calculated that Russia earned 63 billion euros ($66.5bn) from fossil fuel exports since February 24, the date Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.
Using data on ship movements, real-time tracking of gas flows through pipelines and estimates based on historical monthly trade, the researchers said Germany alone paid Russia about 9.1 billion euros for fossil fuel deliveries in the first two months of the war.
The German government said it could not comment on estimates and declined to provide any figures of its own, saying these would need to come from companies that procure the coal, oil and gas, the Associated Press has reported.
Ukraine needs 600,000 apartments for those displaced: Official
A senior aide to Ukraine’s president says the country needs almost 600,000 apartments to provide housing for people displaced by conflict.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko made the comment during a meeting of Ukraine’s local and regional authorities, where participants discussed plans for the country’s reconstruction, which one official said would now cost $90bn, according to a statement from Zelenskyy’s office.
Participants made the decision to build some of the necessary apartments from scratch, as well as purchase some ready-made from developers. Zelenskyy also told participants that all new housing in Ukraine must be built with comfortable bomb shelters, and old housing stock should be equipped in accordance with the needs of public safety, the statement said.
More than 50 Ukrainians completed howitzer training: Pentagon
More than 50 Ukrainian forces have completed US howitzer artillery training, a Pentagon spokesperson has said.
John Kirby told reporters that another group of more than 50 Ukrainians would also “go through training in the same location outside Ukraine”.
The howitzers were included as part of two recent US military assistance packages for Ukraine, each totalling $800m.
Zelenskyy praises Kherson protesters
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has praised protesters who took part in a pro-Ukraine rally in the occupied city of Kherson.
Russian forces had used tear gas and stun grenades to disperse them.
“I am grateful to everyone who has not given up, who is protesting, who is ignoring the occupiers and showing the marginal people who have become collaborators that there is no future for them,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly address.
US to begin process of reopening embassy in Kyiv: Blinken
The US will begin the process of reopening its embassy in Kyiv “as quickly but also as safely as possible”, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said.
“We have diplomats going back to Ukraine this week as we speak to begin the process of looking to reopen the embassy in Kyiv,” Blinken told US legislators, according to a video shared online by the State Department.
He said the US will begin operating out of the Western Ukrainian city of Lviv before operating out of Kyiv.
— Department of State (@StateDept) April 27, 2022
Amal Clooney pushes for Ukraine war crimes justice at UN
Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney has urged countries at the United Nations to focus on international justice for war crimes in Ukraine so evidence does not sit in storage – as it has done for victims of ISIL (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria.
“Ukraine is, today, a slaughterhouse. Right in the heart of Europe,” Clooney told an informal UN Security Council meeting on accountability in Ukraine organised by France and Albania.
UK foreign minister warns China to play by ‘the rules’
Liz Truss, the British foreign secretary, has warned China that failure to play by global “rules” would cut short its rise as a superpower.
China, which has taken a neutral public position on the war in Ukraine, has faced calls from European nations and the US to pressure Russia to end its invasion.
“They will not continue to rise if they do not play by the rules. China needs trade with the G7. We [the Group of Seven] represent around half of the global economy. And we have choices,” Truss said in a speech in London. “We have shown with Russia the kind of choices that we’re prepared to make when international rules are violated.”
US House of Representatives passes bill to help rebuild Ukraine
The US House of Representatives has passed a bipartisan bill that would encourage the use of sanctioned Russian assets to help rebuild Ukraine.
The bill was introduced by representative Tom Malinowski from New Jersey and Joe Wilson from South Carolina.
“It’s hard to imagine giving Russia’s wealth back to Putin while Ukrainians are burying their dead,” Malinowski said in a tweet. “We must be prepared to use Russia’s frozen assets to rebuild the country they are destroying.”
🚨Tom’s Asset Seizure for Ukraine Reconstruction Act has PASSED the House!🚨
It’s hard to imagine giving Russia’s wealth back to Putin while Ukrainians are burying their dead. We must be prepared to use Russia’s frozen assets to rebuild the country they are destroying.
— Rep. Tom Malinowski (@RepMalinowski) April 27, 2022
Russia coordinating cyberattacks with military strikes: Microsoft
A handful of hacker groups aligned with the Russian government have carried out hundreds of cyberattacks against Ukraine since Moscow invaded, US tech giant Microsoft said in a report.
“Starting just before the invasion, we have seen at least six separate Russia-aligned nation-state actors launch more than 237 operations against Ukraine,” Microsoft said. The company is working with Ukrainian cybersecurity experts and private sector partners to counter such attacks.
It said the cyber warfare included “destructive attacks that are ongoing and threaten civilian welfare”.
Canada legislators vote in favour of calling Russia’s acts ‘genocide’
Canadian politicians have voted unanimously to call Russia’s attacks in Ukraine a “genocide”, with members of parliament saying there was “ample evidence of systemic and massive war crimes against humanity” being committed by Moscow.
The Canadian Parliament’s motion said war crimes by Russia include mass atrocities, systematic instances of willful killing of Ukrainian civilians, the desecration of corpses, forcible transfer of Ukrainian children, torture, physical harm, mental harm, and rape.
Ukraine fires three rockets at Kherson, a city held by Russia: RIA
Ukraine has fired three rockets at the centre of the southern city of Kherson but Russian occupying forces shot down two of them, the state-owned RIA news agency cited a security source as saying.
An RIA correspondent on the ground had earlier reported a series of powerful explosions near the television centre.
Pentagon says Russian nuclear threats are ‘irresponsible’
Pentagon Spokesperson John Kirby has dismissed recent comments by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who earlier this week warned of a “serious, real” risk of nuclear war.
“The rhetoric that we keep hearing from Russian leaders – and just recently was Minister Lavrov, raising the spectre of nuclear confrontation – is irresponsible,” Kirby told reporters during a briefing.
“It’s certainly not what you would expect from a modern nuclear power, nor should anybody expect from a modern nuclear power,” he said.
US allocating $670m to international emergency food operations
The US Department of Agriculture and the US Agency for International Development will together contribute nearly $700m to international food aid efforts in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the agencies have said.
The money will go to emergency food operations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Yemen. Of the announced sum, $282m will come from the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust, which is co-managed by the agencies, while USDA said it would additionally provide $388m for transportation, shipping, and other costs.
The Ukraine war is leading to a “staggering global food crisis”, said USAID Administrator Samantha Power.
Ukraine plans to rename streets linked to Russia
A number of Ukrainian cities plan to rename streets and squares associated with Russia under a process of “de-Russification” following Moscow’s invasion.
Ihor Terekhov, mayor of the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, said that as soon as the war with Russia ends he would table a bill to his city council to rename places with Russian-affiliated names.
“Even without these names, there will be too many scars that will remind us for a long time about what kind of neighbour is beyond our eastern and northern borders,” he wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
White House says supplemental Ukraine aid request could come on Thursday
The White House has said that a supplemental budget request that includes aid for Ukraine could be sent to Congress as soon as Thursday.
The plan will cover military, humanitarian and economic assistance for Ukraine, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.
White House promises to press for release of Paul Whelan
The White House has promised to keep pressing for the unconditional release of former US Marine Paul Whelan, who is imprisoned in Russia and accused of spying.
A US-Russia prisoner swap that obtained the release of Trevor Reed, also a former US Marine, brought a spotlight on Whelan, who holds US, British, Canadian and Irish passports.
Whelan was sentenced to 16 years on espionage charges in June 2020.
Welcome to Al Jazeera’s continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine.
Read all the updates from Wednesday, April 27 here.